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tv   The Sunday Show With Jonathan Capehart  MSNBC  December 17, 2023 6:00am-7:00am PST

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the polls showing tightening race, the biden campaign tries to shore up support among african american voters with a special focus on black men. dnc chair, jaime harrison, the chair of the congressional black caucus, congressman steven horsford, join me live to discuss an extraordinary white house meeting. republicans gone wild. the house launches a bogus impeachment inquiry into president biden while donald trump doubles down on his racist and authoritarian rhetoric. you know congresswoman jasmine crockett has something to say about all of this. she is here to tell us. and eva duvernay, the award winning director stops by to talk about her extraordinary new film, origin, and how she has turned a bestselling book into one of the most acclaimed movies of the year. i'm jonathan capehart, this is the sunday show. the iowa caucuses are less than
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a month away, marking the first-time primary voters will get to weigh in on their party's nominee for the white house. as things stand right now, a biden trump rematches on the horizon. according to new polling, that could spell trouble for president biden. a survey by morning consult, bloomberg, of a hypothetical 2024 election matchup shows donald trump narrowly beating biden in seven swing states. that same poll reveals that biden is losing support from a key constituency, black voters, with only 62% saying they would vote for the president. now, 62% sounds like a lot, right? well, let me put that number into perspective. in 2020, president biden won 87% of the black vote. a slide and black support is deeply concerning because every democrat elected president has committed a coalition of voters to win the white house. here's why. no democrat running for president has won the white
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house, the white vote, the white vote since 1964. because of a, african american voters have been vital to democrats presidential ambitions. black women are the most loyal democratic voters, they're considered the bedrock of the party. there is now a growing effort to shore up the support of black men. this week at the white house, biden's aides met with several influential democratic black men to discuss how to address the decline in the presidents popularity among such a crucial group of voters. joining me now, one of the attendees at the meeting, jamie harrison, chairman of the democratic national committee. chairman harrison, welcome back. >> thank you, jonathan. merry christmas, happy holidays. >> thank you, thank you, same to you. what did they discuss at this meeting? >> well, we discussed the african american vote, the importance of the african american vote. we discuss the importance of making sure that african americans understand the policies that this administration had done and how
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they have impacted this community. jonathan, when you think about it, just take the judiciary, for example. joe biden has appointed 160 judges. of that hundred and 60 judges, 50 of them are black. 50 black judges, lifetime appointments, only 40s and 50s will have a life time impact on our judiciary in this country. we've seen the lowest unemployment rate in the black community and history. we have seen job creation in the black community, the highest in 25 years. we've seen seven billion dollars going to our historically black colleges and universities. no president before his ever pumped that amount of money into our hbcus. so, it's really really important for us to understand what this administration has done and how it's impact of the black community. the second part of that is how do we get that message out to black folks so that they see that whole big picture that has been there? >> i mean, chair harrison, you laid out a very strong case,
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important things the president has done and is doing. the president is talking about it, the administration is talking about it. why isn't that message getting through? >> well, you know, i think it's a mixed bag. one, we need to make sure that, you know, and it's not you, but some of the media, instead of covering what types of shoes joe biden has on for the day, right? actually cover the work that's being done in those communities. that's one. the second part is, we have to make sure we get into the communities and connect them with resources. there is been 132 billion dollars of student loan debt relief that has been out there. almost 4 million people have gotten some student loan debt relief. but more people can be impacted, particularly black folks. they don't know to go to student aid.gov, signed up for the save act to get your student loan payments down, see if you qualify for a loan relief. it's connecting people with the resources that have already been allocated by joe biden, kamala harris, and the democrats in the house and
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senate. >> okay, so, chairman, those are the things the administration has done. >> yes. >> there's a lot of black voters, particularly young voters of color who are like, we voted for you because we wanted voting rights protected, that didn't happen. we voted for you because we want to criminal justice reform. we voted for you in the heat of the george floyd protest. neither one of those things have happened. what do you say to them? >> what i say to them, take a look at what joe biden has done with his executive authority and -- because we know that, you know, the president doesn't have a magic wand. and then, everything gets done. he has to get things through congress. we have republicans in congress who are obstructionists. or we have a supreme court who decides to block it as well. e have a sthis president, despit republicans do in order to block things, always finds a way. he found a way and student loan relief. he has found a way and criminal justice. right now, in this country, federal, there is a federal ban on chokeholds, there is a
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federal ban on no-knock warrants. right now, in this country, a lot of folks got released who were arrested for marijuana possession because this president, even despite the obstruction from republicans like tim scott and others in congress on the george floyd act, he still went for it and found a way to get people relief with the authority in the power that he has. so, the big thing, jonathan, the president has always said, you have to finish the job. part of finishing the job is getting him and kamala harris reelected, but also getting people in congress, democrats who will move forward on the agenda that the american people and black folks want to move on. >> last question for you before i have to let you go. the story, the paper was about an extraordinary meeting at the white house to discuss support among black men. one, why was that meeting necessary? that specific conversation? is there a danger that black men either don't vote for biden
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but actually vote for donald trump? >> we know the contrast. the president often says, don't compare me to the almighty, compare me to the alternative. donald trump was a disaster for black america. we know it. we'll make sure that folks who forgot that, you know, it's been four years, that they remember all of the things that he's done to attack. republicans are constantly doing it, now road voting rights, reproductive rights for women, going after diversity, equity, inclusion. there is still there, they're still grounded in that. we also want to make sure that no voter, particularly black voters do not feel as though they are taken for granted, that we see them, that we hear them, that we value them. we want black men particularly to understand that. we know black men want more security, more economic security, and physical security. they want to be able to provide for their families. so, we want them to know how this administration has made that happen. we will continue -- i'm in barbershops every month,
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all over this country. i was with cory booker in south carolina doing that. first-in-the-nation primary in south carolina is going to be centered on that. this is the first time, instead of black folks being at the back of the bus, we are driving the bus. that is because of joe biden. no president before ever decided to take on iowa, new hampshire, kicking off this. now, in a state were 40% of enslaved people came to this country, the descendants of those enslaved people pick the most powerful person on the face of this earth. that happened because of joe biden. >> south carolina, your home state, south carolina which catapulted candidate joe biden from the back of the pack to president of the united states. dnc chair, jaime harrison, as always, thank you very much for coming to the sunday show. >> thank you. >> joining me now, congressman steven horsford, chair of the congressional black caucus, also at that white house meeting. coyle belter, msnbc political analyst, pollster, and democratic strategist. latosha brown, cofounder of
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black voters matter. thank you all for coming to the sunday show. congressman horsford, you also intended that white house meeting, what more can you share but what was discussed? >> well, look, thank you for having me on, jonathan. i think the chairman laid it out well. look, the black voters are the base of the democratic party. we are the voters that secured the historic win for president joe biden and vice president kamala harris. it's imperative that the party, the president, this government, and the private sector included, do what they need to do to ensure that black voices are heard in the federal government, on capitol hill, and in the boardroom's. that's something the congressional black caucus is working on every single day, because we understand that black lives matter and so do our voices when it comes to our democracy. >> all right, cornell, you're
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the pollster, you pointed out on twitter that there is a false narrative being pushed by the media the black men are embracing trumpism. i find that hard to believe, explain. >> why you find it hard to believe? it's in the data, right? if you look at the last four decades, black men voting pattern, it's been fairly consistent, right? going back to 76, 14% of african americans who, african american men vote republican. if you look at the validated research voting that putin does, in 2022, 6% of african american men voted republican. so, i think there is a lot of hate being made about some data from polls that are actually not representative. i've actually seen this before, i'm always suspect of why are trying to drive a wedge between blackmon and trying to set black went up a scapegoats. when you look at voting, not the polls, but actually voting,
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there's only a 7% difference between how black men vote and black women vote. it is the narrowest difference between any of the major demographic groups. of the majorthe pick on black m, black men are dramatically different than black women, it's a false narrative. now, let me lean into what the chairman had to say, right? the truth of the matter is, you know, congressman, chairman horsford, they have fought and passed a lot of great legislation that impacts african americans, particularly african american men. the problem is, k part, when i sit in focus groups, african americans, african american men, they have no idea. they have no idea that, you know, criminal justice reform was passed, they have no idea that voting rights were passed and they fought so hard for it. to your question you gave chairman, the chairman, dnc chairman, it's what i would say,
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not only must to say that we fought to get these things passed, black men, you have to use your power to punish those who are standing in the way of getting these things passed. it's a messaging and a resource conversation. i would argue we've not spent enough resources actually messaging specifically to african americans, particularly men. >> i want to be clear, when i said, i don't believe it, i didn't believe that mark -- blackmon would support trumpism. i'm with you on that, cornell. please, internet, don't at me, just to be clear. let's asha, you're in a in black voters matter, you're in it, you're in the community, you're talking to folks, you're hearing from them. why is there this big drop from the 87% of black vote that the president got in 2022 seeing 62% in that morning consult bloomberg poll? is it a real thing that the presidents hold on black voters
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is slipping? >> you know, i think that biden has a -- that's bigger than biden. what i mean by that, black voters, i'm talking black people, they're concerned about the environment. it's not just what has been passed, people are saying, what are you gonna do for me now? in addition to that, there is a lot of, we know a lot of young voters and first-time voters engaged in the process because they want to see criminal justice reform. that simply does not happen. we also knew a lot of people we talked to were interested in voting rights and making sure in voting rights legislation -- that -- in addition to that, there has to be the metrics, i think there's a disconnect in terms of the metrics in which sometimes the party uses the metrics of success and what people see success. well there's a low unemployment rate, there's a lot of economic anxiety about black voters that i'm talking to that are interested in what does this mean economically and this kind of environment where they're seeing the rise of racism, where they're saying the structure -- and those kind of programs, that leads a certain level of
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uncertainty of what our economic future is. >> let's asha, let me stick with you before we go to break. president biden's mantra, and i think it's a terrific mantra, don't compare me to the almighty, compare me to the alternative. if that alternative is trump or any republican, given all the things that haven't happened from the black voters perspective, is there any way that those voters would either vote for the republican or is the bigger danger the stay cold? >> i think the bigger danger is -- black voters are more sophisticated than the media likes to give us credit for. we are very pragmatic voters. at the end of the day, will there be a launch of trump? absolutely not. well we'll see is people be so discontented with the process that they're so frustrated they'll disengage. that's the bigger issue. one has to be more money, you have to make sure they have a message. i agree with cornell exactly,
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there has to be a message that is taylor directly -- and you have to make sure that you're lifting, up you have your messages, who is giving the message? when we're looking at television ads, that is not where a lot of people in communities that we're talking to get their news from or actually -- around with biden has done. i think those are the things that he's gonna have to do going forward to get the bill to support that. >> all right, everybody, don't go anywhere, we're gonna continue this conversation with congressman steven horsford -- and latosha brown, after the break. and latosha brown, after the break. >>
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steven horsford, chair of the congressional black caucus. colonel -- msnbc political analyst and democratic strategist. natasha brown, cofounder of black voters matter. all right, everybody, listen to what trump had to say at a rally in new hampshire yesterday. >> law & order to our
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communities, i will direct a completely overhauled doj to investigate every radical out of control fake and crooked prosecutor in america further legal, racist -- enforcement of the law. i'm also going to indemnify all police offices. >> i mean, it's chilling. i want all of you to respond. let, oshawa go first. to my mind, you know, weaponizing doj is one thing, but indemnifying law enforcement, to me, he just put a target on all of our backs. >> absolutely, one, let's call it what it is, it's fascism at its finest. the bottom line, this is a race he has decided to weaponize race, he's decided to weaponize enforcement and balance. that is what he believes is his claim to fame, actually being
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the support behind them and using white supremacy and this whole notion of literally creating a state to be able to advance his campaign. that's why i think the sophistication of black voters, that's why i do not believe in any way that he will garner more support from black voters. i think it's important for us to not take for granted what the alternative is. i think it's important for us to understand how dangerous he is. >> cornell? >> well, first, let me start by saying, i want to have christmas that her house, the christmas tree and fireplace is amazing. what i also say's, thank you, thank you donald trump for saying the quiet part out loud. this is actually what we need to mobilize our base among voters. he's also been on record saying he's gonna invoke the insurrection act. i can let the congressman tell you what that entails. the outcome is not good for black and brown people if he invokes the insurrection act. he's telling us he's going to be the fascist on day one.
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look, from a messaging standpoint, you know, campaign standpoint, you know, there's fear and hope. that sort of the basis of human nature driving, there's fear and hope, we give people a lot of hope in a way it. there is a lot of fear being evoked right now. this man is telling us he's gonna end democracy. kate part, i know you know this, for the folks out there, i hope you understand this, black and brown people, you will not survive well if this man takes away our rights and ends democracy in this country. those are the stakes for this upcoming election. >> congressman horsford, i'd like to get your reaction to that. also, the cbc's urging of corporate america to reaffirm its commitment to dei, diversity, equity, inclusion efforts, is vital to thwarting what we heard trump say, but also why it's important for corporate america to take it seriously. >> well, first, donald trump told us in 2016, he came to
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black americans, he said, what do you have to lose? then he pointed an extreme out of touch ultra conservative supreme court that answered that question by taking away fundamental rights, rights for women to have reproductive justice. rights for students to be able to access college on an equal basis. access for small businesses to thrive, and access to the ballot box. that is why i agree with your panel this morning that the real issue is the need to focus on the 80% of the democratic base which are black voters, to turn them out and make sure the resources, the message, and the messengers are in place to do that. i -- we are the largest membership in our history with 60 members. 31 black women, 29 black men representing 120 million americans across the country,
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20 million black americans. we're fighting alongside the biden harris administration every day to protect the fundamental rights of all communities, but specifically black america. that is why we issued a letter to corporate america this week, calling on them to reaffirm their commitments to diversity, equity, inclusion, in the workplace, and the communities, where they operate, and in the larger society to address racial inequities after george floyd, and to work with us to close the racial wealth gap, which continues to widen. we are not going to allow the tools of economic opportunity to be taken away from us. that's something black voters also need for us to create better jobs, to start new businesses, and to build wealth in our communities. >> let's asha, meaning if you the last word in the less than a minute we have left. if president biden were to call
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you today, get you on the phone, what's the one thing you would tell him to do? >> i would say three things. message, money, and -- the focus on, we have to shift the message, we need more money on the ground, he needs trusted messengers that represent those constituency groups that are going out and crafting the message that our communities need to hear. >> latosha brown, aka the swank misses cause, cornell, and congressman steven horsford, thank you very much for coming back to the sunday show. up next, from a bogus biden impeachment gray to donald trump's attacks on democracy, congresswoman jasmine crockett joins me live to talk about republicans running amok. s running amok so you can deliver even more holiday joy. the united states postal service. delivering for america. hey everybody, w. kamau bell here.
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they say that america is the land of the free. but right now, people in the u.s. are seeing their freedoms taken away at an alarming rate. freedoms some of us take for granted. the right to vote. equal access to health care. book banning and other forms of censorship that threaten our right to learn and here's something truly shocking. right now in our country, hundreds of thousands of people are incarcerated simply because they couldn't afford bail. that's not free and it's not fair. but there is hope for change. it lives in people like you and in a great organization called the american civil liberties union. so please join me and other concerned americans in defending our civil liberties by joining the aclu as a guardian of liberty today. all it takes is just $19 a month. only $0.63 a day. when you're surrounded by oppressive laws. you can't just sit back and be oppressed. you get up and fight. and all of us at the aclu are fighting for you. whether it's criminal justice reform
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or protecting the lgbtq plus rights, abortion rights or voting rights. the aclu is in the courts fighting for your rights, and mine and i, for one, sleep better at night knowing they're working every day in all 50 states to protect our freedoms. but these freedoms are at risk. we have to fight for them tirelessly. and with your help, we will continue to do so so please go to myaclu.org and join the fight for just $19 a month. use your credit card and get this special we the people t-shirt, aclu magazine and more to show you're helping ensure justice for all. as an individual, donating to the aclu is one of the most powerful things you can do to fight for justice. but the aclu can't do it alone. they need your support now to continue defending our democracy and the freedoms we hold dear. so please join us. call or go online to myaclu.org today. thank you. the biden campaign really
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sitting back after house republicans voted in favor of
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an impeachment inquiry into president biden. vice president kamala harris sent out a fund raising email criticizing republican efforts as political theater. according to a biden campaign source, that email became the vice presidents top performing pitch since biden announced his bid for a second term, adding to the $71 million raised in the third quarter, more than trump and the other presidential contenders. after passing the impeachment inquiry, the house adjourned for the holidays, despite a slew of unfinished business. the senate is putting its holiday break on hold to hammer out a potential deal on immigration reform and aid for israel and ukraine. joining me now, congresswoman jasmine crockett of texas, member of the house oversight and accountability committee. as always, welcome to the sunday show. as a member of the oversight and accountability committee, what role do you expect to play in this impeachment inquiry process? >> yes, absolutely. we are going to be the truth
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tellers. we are the ones who cut through the noise and make sure that the american people know that this is nothing more than political theater and games. we are also going to try to juxtapose what it would look like if we had the adults in the room who were running this committee. for instance, i have been talking about the fact that the oversight committee should be looking into things like my constituent eugene gates who died on the job after almost 40 years of service to the postal service due to heat conditions. we need to look into issues like this. we will make sure that we juxtapose what it looks like when this committee runs the way that it is supposed to as well as bringing out the high foxy which exists. we have trump on one hand and biden on the other. we have all of these insurrectionists, congress persons, and then hunter biden. we will make sure that the american people and know that this is just not the tree that they want to barco. >> the senate is set to
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reconvene tomorrow to discuss the framework and the potential agreement on an immigration deal. this is all part of an effort to unlock aid to ukraine and israel. ntial agreement on an immigration deal. this is all part of an effort to unlock aid to ukraine and israel. how concerned are you that the deal might make too many concessions to win republican support? >> i'm very concerned. the republicans have never gotten immigration right. that's just the fact of it. there's not very much that the republicans get right in general. to basically say that issues of national security as it relates to how we are going to take care of our allies should be tied to this mangled immigration process. that's absolutely insane. when you look at someone like greg abbott, my governor, and his solution, his solution is to basically say, hey, people are trying to come in. that's not a solution. the republicans don't have the solutions. they want to continue to defund
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the aid, not the aid, but continue to defund border security. i mean, who is going to sign up for this job? you're not paying anything. the court system doesn't have the resources that they need. what they need to focus on is how we are going to pass a budget, a real budget which is going to take care of the things that matter to the american people such as the border. >> as a member from a border state, are their policies or policy changes which would be non starters for you. there were changes in the asylum rules. >> absolutely. jonathan, i don't know the full history of how i got here, but i have a clue as to how i did. there are other people who are literally risking their lives because it's just that bad where they are coming from. the idea that we would return them away in the land of opportunity, the land of the free doesn't sound like what we
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tell ourselves and it doesn't sound like who we are supposed to be. we are a country of immigrants for those who have forgotten. that is who we are in this country. as people are complaining about our debt, people need to understand that every single day i have people who are coming up to me, businesses, the health care industry, the farmers, as i serve on the agricultural committee -- they are telling me, we need more workers. for everyone who is complaining about the cost of food, i can guarantee you that if they get more workers to work those farms, which a lot of these people are willing to do, and we don't send people to college and tell them to go work on a farm, we could reduce the cost of food. we could also increase our tax revenues. there is an opportunity. we need to stop demonizing people who are simply seeking out a better life or being able to actually exist. we need to figure out how we can make this work like we have worked all these years before. >> before we go, the binder
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story. cnn was the first to report that a binder containing classified information about russia's attempts to interfere in the 2016 election allegedly went missing just days before trump was set to leave the white house. it is still missing. why should this concern all americans? >> i feel like trump, he has said it before. he could go out and shoot somebody and not face any consequences. this is more of the same. we know that this guy is a joke. he's irresponsible. we know that he doesn't want the truth to ever come out about his friend putin, right? we know that he has always piled around with putin. it's another concern about if he is to take over the white house, as we are talking about aid to ukraine, we need to make sure that we have a commander-in-chief who knows who our friends are and who our enemies are. putin absolutely did what we all knew he did, which was to interfere in the elections so that we could have someone who
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was responsible and would put us in a natural security fix. that's what we have seen. we have seen the boxes at mar-a-lago. this is more of the same, someone who doesn't take our national security seriously and we know that that is his friend who most likely helped him get into office and he just didn't want the facts, the details of the facts, i think we've all clear that they interfered with our elections. >> he loves himself some putin. he said at a rally over the weekend that all of this shows the rottenest of the american political system which can't pretend to each other's about democracy. that person wants to be president of the united states again. congresswoman jasmine crockett, thank you very much for coming back to the sunday show. >> good to see you. up next, holding donald trump accountable for the january 6th insurrection. barbara lee, the lead plaintiff in a civil suit against the
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disgraced ex president, joins me live to discuss a major development in her case. e to discuss a major development in her case. development in her case. ium and ipad and apple watch se - all on us. only on verizon. we are a nation that has
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lost its way. we are not going to allow this horror to continue. three years ago, we were a great nation. we will soon to be a great nation again. with you at my side, we will into militia the deep state. we will drive out of the globalists. we will cast out the communists. we will throw off the sikh political class. we will route the fake news media. we will drain the swamp. we will liberate our country from of these tyrants once and for all. >> the last time donald trump took to a lectern and encouraged his supporters to, quote, liberate our country, thousands descended on the capitol and shock the nation by disrupting the certification of the 2020 presidential election resultsttg the lives
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of law at risk. a recent federal s court ruling which says that donald trump is not immune to civil elat to congress are trying to hold him accountable by filing a civil lawsuit accusing him of violating the 1871 ku klux klan act which seeks to protect lawmakers from threats or intimidation against carrying out their duties. joining me now is the lead plaintive in that case, california congresswoman and senate candidate barbara lee. congresswoman lee, as always, thank you very much for coming to the sunday show. why go this route against trump? tell me about what we can expect to see and what kind of penalty he could face. >> nice being with you, jonathan. first, this lawsuit was filed by a ton of us and what we are saying in this lawsuit is that we are going to hold him accountable and the oath keepers and the proud boys for
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conspiring to prevent the peaceful transfer of power. our democracy was at risk. it was an assault on our democracy. in our lawsuit, we are saying that we must hold him accountable for seeking adjunct beliefs so that this will never happen again. we filed it before the january 6th committee was established and the courts have already moved forward in saying that he is not immune because he was the former president. >> congresswoman, we showed part of this speech from last night, but i need you to listen to what he had to say about the january 6th jail of defenders. listen to this. >> what happened to those people, from to think of it? they are not in jail with the january 6th -- they are hostages. we are a nation which allows the radical left to violently attack our cities, leaving behind massive destruction and
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that. nothing happens to the violent criminals who do these terrible things. there is no punishment. when people who love our country protest in washington, they become hostages, unfairly imprisoned for a long periods of time. >> congresswoman, hostages? >> listen, jonathan, this man is really very dangerous. i was sitting on the floor of congress january 6th, barely escaped. people were killed. our democracy was almost thwarted. this man, the oath keepers, the proud boys, as we say in our lawsuit, attempted, quite frankly. they tried to thwart a peaceful transfer of power and, in fact, in the lawsuit that we are moving forward in the courts, first of all, donald trump is not immune from what took place. i hope people understand how dangerous he is, some of the things he has said recently.
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we know his history. we have elections coming up. i just have to say that we have to make sure that we don't vote for donald trump and that the public votes for joe biden and kamala harris because he is a danger to our democracy and has demonstrated this over and over and over again. >> let me get you on one more thing before i have to let you go. at that rally, we talked about this earlier in the show. he wants to indemnify the police from any kind of prosecution or accountability. i said that that feels like he has just put a target on our backs. am i overstating the case here? >> no, you are absolutely correct. this is scary. i hope that people who understand the criminal justice system know that we as democrats have been moving forward trying to enhance and enact criminal justice reform. he's trying to take a speck. i mean, come on, we are trying to and, for example, qualified
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immunity. no one is above the law. police officers are above the law and can do anything in the world to anyone. this is, again, very dangerous and it is a reason why we have to organize and make sure that we turn out en masse to make this the largest turnout we have ever had because this man is once again a threat to our democracy and he is really a threat to communities of color, people of color, african americans who will be the constituencies and the people in our country who are going to lose big time as well as our democracy. this is a serious moment. we have to move forward and understand the threats that are before us and the threats he presents. >> california congresswoman barbara lee, as always, thank you very much for coming to the sunday show. >> my pleasure. up next, by conversation with eva duvernay, a critically acclaimed director of origin, a movie unlike anything you have ever seen before. movie unlike anything you have ever seen before ever seen before you safe
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join with your credit or debit card for only $19 a month, and we'll send you this saint jude t-shirt that you can proudly wear to show your support. jessica: for anybody that would give, the money is going towards research, and you are the reason my child is here today. charlie: i was declared-- this will be two years cancer free. but there's thousands and thousands of kids who need help. saint jude, how many lives they do save is just so many. marlo thomas: charlie's progress warms my heart, but memories of little angels like stacy are why we need your help. please become a saint jude partner in hope right now. [music playing] the summer of 2020 ushered
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in the largest movement in american history as millions took to the streets to protest for racial justice, police reform, and civil rights. during the peak of the transformational period, a book deted. isabelle wilkerson's cast, the origins of our discontent, delved into what wilkerson says is the unspoken caste system which has shaped america. the book is a littered with
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historical anecdotes to back her up. fast forward to today when emmy winning director eva duvernay brings the story to life on the big screen. >> [inaudible] >> we had some break-ins in my neighborhood. there is a guy who is up to no good. >> we are trying to make sense of racism. your thesis is flawed. >> -- >> you don't escape trauma by ignoring it. you escaped trauma by confronting it. >> i sat down with ava earlier this week to discuss this amazing movie. >> joining us now, oscar nominated, emmy winning filmmaker and director of origin ava duvernay. ava, think so much for coming to the show. >> thank you for having me.
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>> origin is based on isabelle wilkerson's 2020 book cast. the book itself is a phenomenal book. the movie is stunning. it got a nine minute, you've got a nine minute standing ovation. why did you feel this movie needed to be made? >> the book captivated me. it revolutionized the way that i thought about myself, my place in the world, and the language with which i would describe myself and i thought that set of ideas put forth a philosophy of, a social hierarchy that we find ourselves within. it was something that urgently needed to be discussed. i think there is no more prominent art form than film to get a lot of people talking about things quickly and all at once. >> in terms of the ideas put forth in the, isabelle wilkerson's main argument is that racism is not the real
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problem, cast is the real problem. in the book, even more so in the movie, you draw that line to show the treatment of african americans, the treatment of jews in world war ii, germany, and the treatment of the quote unquote untouchables in india, there is a through line through all three of those seemingly disparate groups of people. >> yes, i mean, as i understand it it, it's not that racism is not the problem, it's that racism is a problem which is deeper and more complex than we understand. it sits on top of caste. when you are thinking about race and racism and you are only going down to the surface level and you're not getting underneath, what is the foundation? what's under girding that? you can't really solve for it. you aren't looking at it completely. caste is a foundation of all of the isms.
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underneath it is the idea that someone is better than another person based on a set of random traits. that contributes to power and status in society. when you apply that idea across the spectrum, across continents and cultures, to india, to not see germany, to america, the struggles of african people, you start to see connective tissue. it starts to feel less isolated and more of a throbbing pain that is going to take all of us to heal. that is how i wrote the book. that is how i approached the film. >> a major difference between the book and the film is its focus. isabelle wilkerson, the author of caste, weaves in her personal story. in the film, you make her the
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central character and how she went about researching and writing this book. why did you decide to do with that way? >> when i was writing the screenplay, i was looking at the book and searching for characters. you need characters in a movie with actors. who would we follow? who would we care about? this was not a documentary. it's not just conveying information. i want to convey emotion and stir your feelings. i want to open your heart. i need characters to guide us through the information being shared. as i am looking through the pages and searching for characters within this nonfiction text, i find her. she rises off the pages when she uses the first person to talk about her research. i start to think, wow, if i could write a story about a woman thinking and uncovering and investigating the myths that affects us all, the ways in which these hidden arcs of history are really secrets that we have kept from one another
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and that we need to start to share, if i can use her to weave that through, we might have a movie. that is how we approached it. >> another way you got a movie was through an unconventional way. you did not get major funding from a major movie studio. you turned the industry on its head and he went to the ford foundation. >> [laughter] >> where did that idea come from? did you go to darren walker, the president of the ford foundation? did he call you up and say, ava, i hear you are looking for funding. >> the former, i want to him. we weren't turned down by studios, we didn't go to studios. i understand that when you're looking for marvel movies, action films, certain kinds of films which are guaranteed to turn a profit with audiences. this is a little bit more of a, not a sure bet. it's a film about a smart woman
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thinking her way around the world and writing a book about very serious subject matter. >> when the lights come up in the theater, what do you hope people take away when they leave after seeing origin? >> i hope they are interrogating who they are in the world. so often with my films, whatever i make, people ask, what should i do? the question here is not what you should do but who you should be. i truly believe that if all of us focused a little more on who we are, who we are responsible to, and how we can be a little bit better to the people we think we are better than, i will say that again, who do you think you are better than? if we could interrogate that and debate that and excavate that and define that for ourselves, if more people did that, the earth would tilt on its axis, bend a little bit more towards a justice. >> the name of the movie's origin. director ava duvernay, thank you very much. >> thank you for having me. >> thank you for watching the
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sunday show. i will be back next weekend at 8 am eastern for two hours on both days. remember to follow us on x, instagram, tiktok, and now on threads using the handle at weekend k parts. don't go anywhere. ali velshi is next. don't go anywhere. ali velshi is next ali velshi is next whenever you're hungry, there's a deal on the subway app. buy one footlong, get one 50% off in the subway app today. now that's a deal worth celebrating. man, what are you doing?! get it before it's gone on the subway app. ♪♪
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wireless that works for you. good morning to you. it's not just possible, it's happening. it's sunday, december 17th. i'm ali velshi.

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